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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Getting Ready to Set Goals

Setting goals is part and parcel of lifestyle change. If they are clear, then all self-talks could be eliminated. Talking to oneself like oh, this is delicious, I may not see this again so I better eat a lot of it. I paid for this buffet; I better eat as much as I can so I can get my money's worth.

When setting goals, it is wise to avoid extremes. I will never touch dessert again. I will walk for half an hour every day after lunch. Pronouncements like these are unrealistic. Then we fall back, we may just go back to our task on hand, that is to continue on our effort to change our lifestyle.

We have to remember that if we slip back, all we have to do is get up and get going again. We have to accept the fact this endeavor usually consists of two steps forward and one step back. Now that give us a full step forward, doesn't it? That is something to celebrate.

It is easy to make excuses and blame someone else for our inability to focus on our goal. Oh, I have to buy these chips because my family loves them. Why not buy them a healthy snack so everyone can be healthy? This way we are accepting our responsibility instead of blaming something else.

Here's another one. Oh, I can't walk, it's too cold outside. Hey, go to the mall and walk there. Or dress in layers and start walking. Chances are as we walk, we will feel warmer. How is that for turning a negative into something positive?

Let us get rid of the word should in our dictionary for that word might just make us feel guilty. Instead of saying I should eat fruits, let's say I want to eat fruits because they will make me healthy. Instead of saying I should exercise, say I want to exercise because it will make feel better.

Going on a cruise? Watch out for statistics shows a passenger gains 1.25 pounds each day while cruising. After the cruise and we find out we've gained four pounds, we'll just feel like giving up. What's the point, I might as well eat everything I want.

Why not say, I did well. I only gained four pounds when statistics says I should have gained 9.75 pounds. I did well; it must be because I walked their running track every day. Now I will focus more on my losing weight. I enjoyed that cruise. I am prepared to do as much as I can to lose weight now. Isn't that helpful way to look at it? Positives, my friends, I will take them anytime over the negatives.

Some people criticize themselves all the time. I am fat and a failure. I didn't even exercise all week. I am really lazy. Instead, think of it as just a slip. Having a slip is okay. Accept it and go back to the goal. Don't give up and say instead that you've learned that something from the slip and be determined to try again.

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